The Cleaning Lady . . .

Cleaning lady

The Cleaning Lady
Joanne C. Jones

During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. “Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘Hello’.”

I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

Consider this: Who might you be overlooking today?

Tasting Life . . .

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves… Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you will not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke

taste

 

Tasting Life
Anthony De Mello

Before the young man began his studies, he wanted assurance from the Master.

“Can you teach me the goal of human life?”

“I cannot,” replied the Master.

“Or at least its meaning?”

“I cannot.”

“Can you indicate to me the nature of death and of life beyond the grave?”

“I cannot.”

The young man walked away in scorn. The disciples were dismayed that their Master had been shown up in a poor light.

Said the Master soothingly, “Of what is it to comprehend life’s nature and life’s meaning if you have never tasted it? I’d rather you ate your pudding than speculated on it.”

 

Consider this: Are you tasting life today?

Thanks for Your Time . . .

Time

Thanks for Your Time
Author Unknown (but greatly appreciated)

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”

Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important… Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.

The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture… Jack stopped suddenly.

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said.

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

“Mr. Harold Belser” it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most…was…my time.”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet… thanks for your time!”

Consider this: Who do you need to make time for today?

Judge Gently . . .

images Judge Gently

Author Unknown

Pray don’t find fault with the man who limps or stumbles along the road, unless you have worn the shoes he wears or struggled beneath his load. There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt, though hidden away from view, or the burden he bears, placed on your back might cause you to stumble too.

Don’t sneer at the man who’s down today unless you have felt the blow that caused his fall or felt the shame that only the fallen know. You may be strong, but still the blows that were his if dealt to you, in the selfsame way, at the selfsame time, might cause you to stagger too.

Don’t be too harsh with the man who sins or pelt him with word or stone, unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure, that you have no sins of your own – for you know perhaps if the tempter’s voice should whisper as softly to you as it did to him when he went astray, it might cause you to stumble too.

 

Consider this: ‘Every man has his secret sorrows, which the world knows not; and oftentimes¬†we call a man cold when he is only sad.’ – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Perspectives . . .

focus

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”

–Sir John Lubbock

 

Perspectives
Author Unknown

One day a father and his rich family took his young son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

Very good, Dad!”

“Did you see how poor people can be?” the father asked.

“Yeah!”

“And what did you learn?”

The son answered, “I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon.”

When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless.

His son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are!”

Isn’t it true that it all depends on the way you look at things? If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude toward life, you’ve got everything!

You can’t buy any of these things. You can have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc., but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing!

Consider this: What are you looking for?